Extra, Extra, Read All About It: Montana Lt. Governor Likes Breasts

Breasts

Some stories are just so silly that it is hard to resist repeating them for the sake of amusement. The big political “scandal” today is that the possible Republican opponent to Democratic Lt. Gov. John Walsh, who might become a candidate for the Senate, got a screen grab showing that Walsh liked this Facebook page: Breasts. Proof men can multitask2. Walsh claims that clicking “like” was a mistake and the “like” was removed.

This sure seems tame compared to the sex scandals which recent candidates such as Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer got involved in (especially considering Facebook’s prohibition against the display of bare breasts). Besides, considering the amount of homophobia in the Republican Party, not to mention the overall popularity of breasts, I wonder if it was really necessary for John Walsh to distance himself from breasts.

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Eliot Spitzer To Replace Keith Olbermann at Current TV

It hardly comes as a surprise that Current TV has fired Keith Olbermann. Olbermann has a long history of difficulty with employers, and there had been reports of conflicts this winter with regards to anchoring primary coverage. Current has hired Eliot Spitzer to start tomorrow, denying Olbermann a chance to say sign off on air. Spitzer’s show on CNN only lasted nine months.

Current has issued the following statement:

To the Viewers of Current:

We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet.  We are more committed to those goals today than ever before.

Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.

We are moving ahead by honoring Current’s values. Current has a fundamental obligation to deliver news programming with a progressive perspective that our viewers can count on being available daily — especially now, during the presidential election campaign. Current exists because our audience desires the kind of perspective, insight and commentary that is not easily found elsewhere in this time of big media consolidation.

As we move toward this summer’s political conventions and the general election in the fall, Current is making significant new additions to our broadcasts. We have just debuted six hours of new programming each weekday with Bill Press (“Full Court Press” at 6 am ET/3 am PT) and Stephanie Miller (“Talking Liberally” at 9 am ET/6 pm PT).

We’re very excited to announce that beginning tonight, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will host “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer,” at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Eliot is a veteran public servant and an astute observer of the issues of the day. He has important opinions and insights and he relishes the kind of constructive discourse that our viewers will appreciate this election year. We are confident that our viewers will be able to count on Gov. Spitzer to deliver critical information on a daily basis.

All of these additions to Current’s lineup are aimed at achieving one simple goal — the goal that has always been central to Current’s mission: To tell stories no one else will tell, to speak truth to power, and to influence the conversation of democracy on behalf of those whose voices are too seldom heard. We, and everyone at Current, want to thank our viewers for their continued steadfast support.

Sincerely,

Al Gore & Joel Hyatt
Current’s Founders

Olbermann has been responding on Twitter, including the longer version via TwitLonger:

I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV.
Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract.
It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain. http://nyti.ms/HueZsa
In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.

Media Decoder pointed out the difference between Olbermann’s audience at Current as compared to MSNBC:

In his forty weeks on Current TV, Mr. Olbermann had an average of 177,000 viewers at 8 p.m., down from the roughly one million that he had each night on MSNBC. Just 57,000 of those viewers on any given night were between the ages of 25 and 54, the coveted advertising demographic for cable news. Still, Mr. Olbermann ranked as the highest-rated program on Current, as Mr. Hyatt acknowledged earlier this month.

 

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Weiner: More A Case Of Stupidity Than A Major Scandal (So Far)

Anthony Weiner has admitted to sending the picture of his (covered) weiner over Twitter, and of similar behavior with other women he communicated with on line. As scandals go, Weiner’s is fairly small. As Steve Benen wrote:

On the Political Sex Scandal Richter Scale, I’m still not altogether sure why this even registers at all. Given what we know, Weiner shared adult content with women he met online. They were adults and the interactions were consensual. He didn’t commit adultery (Ensign), he didn’t hire prostitutes (Vitter, Spitzer), he didn’t solicit anyone in an airport bathroom (Craig), he didn’t pretend to be someone else in order to try to pick up women (Lee), he didn’t abandon his office for a rendezvous with his lover (Sanford), he didn’t leave his first two wives after they got sick (Gingrich), he didn’t have a child with his housekeeper (Schwarzenegger), there’s no sex tape (Edwards), and no interns were involved (Clinton). He’s not even a hypocrite — Weiner has never championed conservative “family values,” condemning others for their “moral failings.”

This assumes that there isn’t anything more to this. Nancy Pelosi has called for an ethics investigation of Weiner. Assuming that there are no minors and there are not more explicit pictures, my guess is that this is not a career ending scandal, but at very least will be a career stalling one. As can be seen in Steve’s list, the less severe sex scandals do not necessarily end careers, but I doubt he will be elected to a more competitive spot in New York anytime soon. (Elliot Spitzer might even beat him–time does seem to make these scandals less important to voters).

While Weiner’s transgressions appear to be relatively minor (at least so far), they were rather stupid. It is amazing how often we see similar patterns in politicians. Was whatever pleasure Weiner received from sexting with young women really worth all of this?  I would ask whether this will dissuade future politicians (which can be from either party) from doing anything so foolish, but the answer, based upon the past history of sex scandals in Washington, is clearly no.

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Eliot Spitzer Did Not Go Out With Elena Kagan

Having Eliot Spitzer say something in your defense, especially where it involves sex, might not turn out to be a good thing. Spitzer had exactly the right thing to say here about Elena Kagan:

“I did not go out with her, but other guys did,” he said in an email Tuesday night. “I don’t think it is my place to say more.”

This is from an article at Politico on Kagan’s friends saying she is not gay in response to rumors spread by conservatives that she is. I imagine that Spitzer did Kagan a favor by both verifying she dated men and by saying he did not go out with her.

While Politico does dwell more on this type of topic, they also did run a story on some of her policy positions. This leaves me underwhelmed by the choice. Basically the story portrays her as a moderate Clintonista. One reason I supported Obama over Clinton was the hope of not returning to such positions. Hopefully a position on the Supreme Court, as opposed to one in the highly politicized Clinton administration, will result in more liberal decisions.

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Worse Than Spitzer

Mark Sanford’s son’s reaction to the news of his father’s affair was that it’s “worse than Eliot Spitzer.” This comes out in Jenny Sanford’s book. Among the revelations:

- Mark Sanford kept “pestering” her for permission to see his mistress even after she found their lovelorn messages.

– He was a cheapskate who once took back a birthday necklace he gave her a day earlier.

Maybe it’s worse than Eliot Spitzer, but this all sounds pretty tame compared to what we’ve heard about John Edwards.

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Jenny Sanford Files For Divorce, Edwards Kicks Out Mistress and Love Child, And The Day’s Other Scandal News

Jenny Sanford has announced she if filing for a divorce:

“As so many of us know, the dissolution of any marriage is a sad and painful process. It is also a very personal and private one. Because Mark and I are public figures, we have naturally had less privacy with which to deal with our difficulties than do other couples. Indeed, I know it will soon become known so I choose to release this brief notice that I am now filing for divorce. This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family.

“I remain thankful to so many across this state and nation for their words of encouragement and prayers during this difficult time. Please know the boys and I are doing well and are blessed with the incredible support of friends and family and bolstered by our faith and the unfailing love of our God above.”

In somewhat related news, Eliot Spitzer is considering running for state comptroller and Tiger Woods is taking a hiatus from golf. John Edwards remains the sleaziest of them all. He cheated on his wife who was fighting cancer, had a baby with Rielle Hunter and denied paternity, and now has tossed Hunter and their daughter out on the street after Hunter demanded too much money.

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Manhattan Madam Threatens To Run Against Spitzer

If Eliot Spitzer decides to run for office he will have a problem with the opposition. It is not that someone who has indicated her intent to run against him is more qualified for the position but that the campaign would be a constant reminder of the past scandal. Kristin Davis, who provided Spitzer with “escorts,” is threatening to run against her on the Manhattan Madam blog (hat tip to Political Wire):

Eliot Spitzer has the bug. For the second time in six months he has been caught planning a come-back. First, he floated a trial baloon for his old job as Attorney General. It was more like a lead balloon. Now he is contemplating a run for the US Senate or New York State Comptroller.

As I told the New York Post yesterday, “if he runs for public office I may have to run myself to focus attention on the  multiple illegal acts for which he has not been punished, his abuse of women and the SEXISM in the way he walked away scot free while I went to Rikers for four months for supplying him with ‘company”.

There is far more to tell about Eliot Spitzer, the ladies and the way he treated them. There is also far more to tell about Spitzer’s relationships with multiple New York Escort services including several of my competitors when I was in the business. I’m sure if he and I both ran these facts would come in during a spirited campaign.

Voters would get to decide whether it is fair and equitable that Spitzer broke multiple state and federal laws and avoided prosecution while I was punished for my supplying girls for Spitzer, Madoff and others. If it fair that a rich white male walked while a woman entrepenuer did hard time for a victimless crime.

I would make sure everyone remembers how Spitzer violated the public trust and at the same time I would push a REFORM agenda. Prostitution should be legalized, regulated and taxed to help solve our fiscal problems. Marijuana should also be legalized, regulated and taxed. With both, New York could balance our budget without raising taxes or cutting essential services. Gay Marriage, hamstrung in the State Senate, should be legalized as a matter of total equality.

Yes indeed, if Eliot spitzer throws his hat in the ring, I may just have to jump in the race myself. After all, how I could I do worse than the clowns we have in Albany now?

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Ashley Dupre’s Rant

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I’ve  always thought that Eliot Spitzer was responsible for Eliot Spitzer’s downfall, but apparently some people blame Ashley Dupre. She responds to this in a blog post at Global Grind:

I’m often referred to as the “woman who brought down the Governor” – excuse me people, I didn’t call the tabloids, I didn’t blow the whistle and I didn’t save “the dress.” I did nothing to shine a light on my indiscretions or to “out” anyone else.

She also has a few words for those who judge her:

But there are those of you out there who just love to judge. Let me say this – most girls, to varying degrees, of course, want to be pampered and have nice shoes, designer handbags and gorgeous clothes. I know many women who target guys with money and use them to get these things. They toy with them, flirt, go on dates, have sex and then drop hints about that new dress at the store down the street or being short on rent money – and the guys deliver it. This is a dishonest relationship. I see this all over New York City. Some women aren’t as vindictive, but still dive into relationships with wealthy guys who they don’t love or even find attractive, but they stay in it because they have a nice home, a car and spending money – they would rather stay in an unfulfilling or loveless relationship than lose that security. This, too, is a dishonest relationship. I see this type all over the suburbs of New Jersey with the housewives who are strung out on mood stabilizers or the couples who put all their attention on their chil dren so they don’t have to deal with their own issues.

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Scandal Day at Memeorandum

Glancing through Memeorandum it looks like this is a big day for coverage of scandals. Of course the major story of the day is Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich being arrested for attempting to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. The Swamp figures that he was trying to sell it for well under what it is worth. The seat is now up for sale on E-Bay (with free shipping). Among the interesting side stories is a report that Rahm Emanuel might have been the one to tip off authorities. MoJo Blog notes that three of the last five Illinois governors were charged with some kind of wrongdoing, with an additional one indicted but not charged. This includes two Democrats and two Republicans.

AP reports that the House ethics committee is expanding its investigation of Charles Rangel “to examine whether he protected an oil drilling company from a big tax bill when the head of that company pledged a $1 million donation to a college center named after the congressman.”

CNN reports that “The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s effort to withdraw his guilty plea to a misdemeanor offense of disorderly conduct in connection with a sex-sting operation.”

The Daily Beast has an item on The Man Who Brought Down Spitzer.

Dee Dee Myers raises Jon Favreau’s groping a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton to the level of at least a minor scandal.

With all these stories competing for news space, if there should happen to be a paternity test on the verge of being released on John Edwards’ alleged love child with Rielle Hunter, today might be a good day to let it come out.

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Spitzer Being Investigated for Using Campaign Funds In Meetings With Prostitutes

Things might be looking worse for Spitzer. While there was never any doubt that he could not survive politically, it is not yet clear as to what legal charges he will face. If this was limited to a victimless crime such as prostitution, and even if there was some technically illegal movement of his personal funds to try to hide this, there might not be much drive for prosecution. We have a totally different situation if this involves funds beyond his personal funds. The New York Times reports that he is being investigated for having illegally used campaign funds:

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Gov. Eliot Spitzer used campaign funds in connection with his meetings with prostitutes, including payments for hotels or ground transportation, three people with knowledge of the investigation said.

Prosecutors have asked the governor’s lawyers about the travel arrangements for three trips, including his Feb. 13 rendezvous with a prostitute at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan has also asked about the governor’s use of car services during trips to Washington…

If campaign money was involved, it would expand the scope of a criminal inquiry, because it is illegal to use campaign money for personal expenses. Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat, has championed a campaign finance reform proposal for much of his tenure and often excoriated Republicans, saying their fund-raising practices were responsible for the “haze and smog surrounding the capital.”

Several people involved in the campaign said on Thursday that they did not believe campaign money had been misused. Jonathan Rosen, a spokesman for Spitzer 2010, the governor’s campaign committee, and the Excelsior Committee, his political action committee, said neither organization had received subpoenas from federal authorities.

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